By Megan Poinski
Out of 148,362 people who were paid any sort of salary by the state of Maryland in fiscal 2010, about 3% of them made six-figure salaries.
According to a list obtained from the Comptroller’s Office, 5,139 government employees were paid more than $100,000 in the last fiscal year. This listing included full-time, part-time and contract employees. The names and salaries of top-paid employees can be found here.
Almost two-thirds of them – or 3,310 – worked for the University of Maryland, which includes the flagship College Park campus, as well as the campuses in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, University College, and the Eastern Shore. It also includes the university’s Center for Environmental Science and administrative offices.
No other government department came close to the number of six-figure salaries paid by the university, though the next largest group – 438 making more than $100,000 – came from state universities and colleges. This includes state schools like Towson University, Coppin State, the University of Baltimore, Frostburg State, Bowie State, and Salisbury University.
Based on the number of full-time employees listed in the state's audited Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (page 151), 9.4% of the 39,481 employees in higher education make six-figure salaries, and only 2.3% of the 60,734 employees in the rest of state government make $100,000 or more.
Top-salaried faculty add to reputation, prestige
Mike Lurie, media relations and web manager for the University System of Maryland, said that many of the top-salaried employees who work at the university do a lot for the reputation, exposure and prestige of the institution.
Athletic coaches can enhance the university’s visibility, and successful teams bring in revenue, he said. Top administrators ensure that the institutions run well and attract researchers and talent to be located in Maryland. If they started working for the private sector, Lurie said, they would also command large salaries.
Physicians who are on the university’s payroll do double duty, both working in private practice and as administrators at the medical school. Ed Fishel, news bureau director for the University of Maryland--Baltimore, said that physicians and top researchers also attract large grants, which helps to create new jobs.
“We are concerned with keeping those people in the system rather than having them wooed away to other places,” Lurie said. “We want them helping our economy and boosting our economic prospects, instead of adding to that of another state.”
Looking at gross salaries – the total amount each employee was paid by the state, with furloughs and other cuts already taken out – the top 137 were employees of a state university.
Lurie said that there is no doubt many of the university system’s employees are well paid, but the total amounts appearing in the Comptroller’s Office records may represent some funds that are not paid by state taxpayers, including research grants.
Physicians also make money from private practice, which tends to drive about two-thirds of their total income, Lurie said. Fishel said that grant money is sometimes counted in these salary reports as well. Coaches are paid by the state, Lurie said, but they are also paid with support from private groups and for media exposure.
Coaches and top docs
The top-paid non-university employee was Dr. Linda DeHoyos, a psychiatrist and radiologist who did contract work at the Thomas B. Finan Hospital Center through the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. She made $287,036, according to the comptroller’s records.
The next highest paid non-university employee was former State Retirement and Pension System chief investment officer, Mansco Perry III. He was the state’s 198th best paid employee last year, making $265,057 from a contract.
Athletic coaches took home the largest of the large paychecks. The information from the Comptroller’s Office put everything that employees made – including overtime and additional pay – into the column reporting gross pay.
According to the salary information received by MarylandReporter.com, University of Maryland head men’s basketball coach Gary Williams took home the largest amount of pay, making more than $2.3 million in fiscal year 2010.
A relatively distant second, getting paid less than half what Williams received, was Ralph Friedgen, the Terrapins’ former football head coach. He made close to $1.1 million.
The third highest salary went to University of Maryland’s head women’s basketball coach, Brenda Frese. She was paid $957,523.
After Frese, top salaries went to the University of Maryland’s Medical School Dean E. Albert Reece; Dr. Stephen Bartlett, chairman of the surgery department at the medical school and chief of surgery at the UM Medical Center; and the hospital’s cardiac surgery center chief and director of heart and lung transplants, Dr. Bartley Griffith.
Bottom of the pay scale
The way that the salary information was tabulated makes it difficult to tell how many employees are on the other end of the spectrum and making little money. The spreadsheet provided by the Comptroller’s Office includes all employees who were paid by the state, but does not indicate if those employees are full-time or part-time. Also, according to the records, employees who are paid through a contract have an expected salary of $0. The actual amount that each contractual employee was paid is listed under his or her gross pay, but the spreadsheet does not indicate how much work was done in each contract.
According to the information received, 29,978 employees -- about 20% -- have listed salaries that are $40,000 or less. However, the spreadsheet includes 58,267 employees with no listed salary because they are being paid according to a contract.
Including contract employees, 89,507 employees were paid less than $40,000 during fiscal year 2010. However, 4,601 of them had listed salaries that were more than $40,000, but were not paid that much; most only worked part of the year.